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When love hurts: holding on vs. letting go

What it means to love unconditionally

Unconditional love means…

to live with the intention of goodwill and kindness, of compassion and an open heart as well as an open mind. It means to express this deep longing for peace with every action you take. It means to support and serve the highest good of all beings, to give without expecting, without judging. 

This is what it means to live and spread love.

Does this mean you’re not allowed to set boundaries and therefore need to neglect your individual needs? Not at all. In fact, setting healthy boundaries is important to protect your self worth and inner wellbeing. 

When love hurts: holding on vs. letting go

Accepting your partner’s wants & needs is equally important as to honor your own.

Every relationship has its ups & downs and will, at some point, feel messy where the struggle seems to be unbearable. Some couples will experience this after a couple of months, when the intense feelings of being in love convert to a more intimate connection and the daily routine sets back in. Some couples will experience it due to a midlife-crisis, the birth of a child or different sorts of traumas that occur throughout their lives. To conclude: no relationship is 100% harmonious all of the time, and that is ok! In fact, struggling means that you’re no longer in your comfort zone, and therefore it is a chance to learn and grow, to evolve. 

If you find yourself in a dark place right now, go ahead and ask yourself: What good can I see in this challenge? What is it offering me to learn?

Instead of feeling buried, you might wanna start seeing it as if you had been planted. Falling apart seems shitty, I know, but it always is an opportunity to rebuild yourself – and maybe your relationship as well – in a way, you always dreamed it to be like.

Being in a healthy relationship is about growing as a team, while still existing as an individual. It is not about shrinking yourself in order to make others comfortable. But it is a process of matching and harmonizing each other’s goals and needs. Love should fill you up, not deplete either of you.

So how do you know when to let go of someone and when to push through, when to be patient and hold on a little longer?

Before we begin, I want to be clear that this is your life. What’s right for you is something no one can feel but you. Though, sometimes it helps to reflect on how others handle their love life. This doesn’t mean: do it the same way. It simply means: pick what works for you, and throw away what doesn’t.

Personally, I am a fan of not rushing things I want to last forever. Sometimes, just taking the pressure out of it, leaning back, feeling everything, reacting to nothing and simply observing does its thing. To see how things go. (Just to be clear on that: it’s easier said than done 😉 But it’s one thing worth trying to get better at.)

So, there are a few principles I try to live by and hopefully they’ll be helpful to you, as well:

1) Know how you deserve to be treated and don’t settle for less. You are a beautiful Divine spark on Earth and you deserve to be treated and appreciated accordingly – by yourself & by others. You always have a choice. If someone doesn’t treat you with the respect you deserve, it’s your responsibility to stop allowing them to harm you. You don’t just sit back and allow them to continue to disrespect you. Speak about how you feel and be brave enough to walk away if what is required can’t be provided.

2) No one deserves to be somewhat “half-loved”. Back off of someone who isn’t sure about you, who’s not passionately falling for you, who’s not sure about sharing hearts. You deserve to be chosen undoubtedly over and over again, not merely considered. Of course real love is a process and takes time. But you shouldn’t have to sit there, wondering if your partner even likes you. ! Communication is key! Sometimes we’re just not communicating in the same language of love. I therefore recommend reading “Die 5 Sprachen der Liebe” written by Gary Chapman.

3) Give what you want to receive. Love is not a one-way road. Oftentimes, we just need to live by example so our partner feels how wonderful it is to receive f.i. a tender touch and naturally wants to give back this incredible feeling of being loved. ! Again: Note that not everybody’s language of love is the same.

4) You’ve got nothing to lose but a life full of love to win. A breakup or fighting with your beloved one is hard and at first sight it doesn’t seem like you won anything. You might think: I am wasting my time, I lost the man/ woman of my dreams. I don’t think so. You gained tons of experiences. If it is the partner you’re supposed to be with, you will find a solution for the challenge you’re going through. You as a team will come out of it stronger, more united, knowing each other even better. Well, and if you do decide to break up, you now know exactly what you don’t want for future relationships. Knowing what you don’t want is just as important as to know what you do want. Sometimes, it breaks our hearts, but opens our eyes.

5) Love means, to let your beloved one grow. If both, you & your partner’s needs can’t be fulfilled despite you’re loving each other oh so much, loving someone sometimes means to let go. Your loyalty and love can be as deep as can be but sometimes it just won’t work. 

6) If it lowers your vibration, it’s not for you. As mentioned above, there will be ups & downs in every relationship. As a matter of course there will be times where you feel energetically drained and start to doubt. Learn to differ on whether its a short term after effect of an argument, or whether you constantly feel a lack of energy on a long term basis due to the relationship. With breaths of kindness, blow away what’s no longer serving you: people and situations that constantly threaten your peace of mind, self-respect, values, morals and self-worth. Additionally, be careful with people who treat you well one day, then act like you don’t exist the next day. Moodiness and unpredictability can be real energy suckers. Take care of your energy & mental health.

7) Lowering your standards just because you’re scared of being lonely is not an option. There’s a wonderful saying: “don’t let getting lonely reconnect you with toxic people. You shouldn’t drink poison just because you are thirsty.” It’s the same with relationships: Take care of your self respect. Never beg someone to be with you. Begging for attention, time, commitment or affection is degrading and disappointing because it’s a sign that it’s a unilateral relationship. A relationship is wonderful, if both of you are willing to put in the effort. So choose someone who willingly gives you these things with their arms wide open. 

8) When you’re ready for it, forgive. Because if you forgive, you heal

With these things been said, I would like to recommend two Podcasts I’ve enjoyed listening to. Both of them help heaps to get a better understanding of what it means to love. 

1) “Kopf über Herz – der wissenschaftliche Beziehungsratgeber” – you’ll find it for free on Audible

2) “Leben Lieben Lassen” – you’ll find it for free on Spotify

Remember: Everything you are experiencing at this moment, whatever it is, is exactly what you need for your personal growth.

With unconditional love,